Senate Bill 5785 ends the 7-year license plate replacement program. Starting January 1, 2015, new plates and registration will be required whenever a vehicle changes ownership. A car owner may keep the same license plate as long as they own the car. Originally SB 5785 did not allow for any common sense exceptions. Auditor Thad Duvall testified before the House Transportation Committee and subsequently offered proposed language to amend the bill. Representative Brad Hawkins added additional language and amended the bill on the Floor of the House of Representatives. Now the bill is more customer-friendly, with needed exceptions that make sense. As a result of the amendment, license plate replacement and new registration will not be required when a change in vehicle ownership (title work) is the result of one or more of the following circumstances:
- When adding a lien holder to the certificate of title or removing a lien holder from the title;
- When a vehicle is transferred from one spouse or registered domestic partner to another;
- When removing a deceased spouse or registered domestic partner from the title;
- When a vehicle is transferred by gift or inheritance to one or more members of the registered owner’s immediate family;
- When a vehicle is transferred into or out of a trust in which the registered owner or one or more immediate family members of the registered owner is the beneficiary;
- When a leaseholder buys out the leased vehicle; or
- When a person changes his or her name.
Many thanks to Auditor Duvall and Representative Hawkins for providing the amendment that makes this legislation work better for all their constituents.